This story isn’t uncommon: at one point in your corporate life you owned a Blackberry. You loved it’s keyboard but hated it’s operating system. So with reluctance you made the move to the iPhone. Finally, you felt like a someone! Someone that could attend lunches with coworkers and not feel like the pun of every joke. But then you realized that you traded tactile typing for conformity. So what now!?
Enter the Typo2 for the iPhone 6.
The Typo2 is a physical QWERTY keyboard case. Yes, a case. Which means it wraps around the entire circumference (head to toe) of the phone. And while it’s made out of plastic, it’s that soft touch plastic that feels almost velvety. Me likey. The keyboard on the other hand is made from hard plastic, and perhaps rightfully so for the sake of tactile feedback. That all said, the Typo2 case is fairly thin, though in order for it to exist, it effectively extends the length of the iPhone 6 by as much as an inch. And by most accounts this makes it awkwardly long and less than pant pocket friendly.
The volume and power/lock buttons are left uncovered. Which is to say button familiarity is left intact. What is covered is the Home button. So bye-bye Touch ID and fingerprint access. There is however a button dedicated (lower left corner) to home screen access. Unfortunately, it won’t wake the iPhone 6 from sleep so you’ll have to reach for the power/lock button. And although that may seem moot, there were many times during my testing that I was greeted with frustration when I had to do just that.
Flipping over the case reveals the necessary cutouts for the Lighting and headphone ports. The former, for the most part, is a non-issue. Where as the latter, the headphone port, requires you to possess the correct headphones with the correctly sized headphone jack. Too big and you’ll have to remove the case.
And if you do (remove the case), the Typo2 will continue to work as it connects to the iPhone via Bluetooth. So if one so desired, they could continue to type on their iPhone, or iPad (or any Bluetooth handset/tablet) from a far. Not exactly the saving grace of the Typo2, but one worth noting.
That in mind, the Typo2 charges via microUSB and claims to have a 7-10 battery life. The variance will come with how much you use it and how much you use it with the backlight turned on. Yes, there is a backlight which can be activated by tapping the Lightbulb button. Without, the Typo2 would be rendered useless half of the day. An unacceptable amount of time.
And speaking of using it, I wasn’t able to get through one battery cycle. And not because the battery is amazeballs-awesome – though it does appear to be solid by most accounts. But because the keyboard is just too cramped for my liking. Which is to say I conceded defeat after 4 days of use and removed the Typo2. Why? My typing never matched the speeds of the iPhone’s virtual keyboard. Moreover, there is no dedicated numeric keyboard, so each number requires an extra keystroke. Though to be fair, you can access the iPhone’s virtual keyboard by tapping the key signified with a keyboard and lock symbol on it.
So in the end I can’t deem the Typo2 a bad product. In fact, quite the opposite as it’s well made, has a decent battery life, a back light keyboard, and that velvety soft touch plastic (plus Ryan Seacrest is the founder). However, it adds too much bulk (length) to my iPhone and presents too much of a learning curve to offset the speed reduction in favor of accuracy.